Events in a story have a causal relationship with one event leading to an other in a
pattern of cause and effect. The very notion of ʻcause and effectʼ implies a change in
a state of affairs. For Todorov, the primary function of narrative is to solve a
problem. It is this that forms the basis of Todorovʼs theory of narrative. His model
begins with a state of equilibrium, a condition in which everything is in a state of
order. This state of equilibrium is disrupted either by a force of some kind or through
the actions of an individual. The narrative progresses to a restoration of equilibrium,
Todorov breaks the narrative process down into five stages
• A state of equilibrium at the outset
• A disruption of the equilibrium by some action
• A recognition that there has been a disruption
• An attempt to repair the disruption
• A reinstatement of the initial equilibrium.
TODOROV APPLIED TO BATMAN
A state of equilibrium at the outset Gotham city is at peace, there is no
organized crime and Batman is retired.
Bruce Wayne is crippled but living
peacefully at Wayne manor
A disruption of the equilibrium by some
Bane is introduced and executes a plan to
destroy the city of Gotham and Batman.
Batman gets injured and trapped in prison.
A recognition that there has been a
Bane tells the world that he has captured
Gotham and threatens them with a nuclear
An attempt to repair the disruption Batman returns to Gotham with help from
an army of police officers to fight Bane.
A reinstatement of the initial equilibrium. Batman flies the bomb out to sea with a
helicopter risking his life, it safely
detonates away from Gotham saving the
city. John Blake carries on the legacy of
Batman as he is left the Bat cave by Bruce